Thursday, April 24, 2014
What You Can Do to Help
A friend just told you she has an incurable disease. Your first reaction is to:
A. Talk about everyone you know who has the same disease and share their stories.
B. Ask what you can do to help.
C. Tell her that you are sorry to hear that.
The answer is C.
When someone comes to you with a life altering event, just being there is often better than asking questions – which is what happens when you ask what you can do to help. If your friend wants to share more information, she will. You may want to ask permission to ask more questions. This will give her the opportunity to say “No, I don’t want to talk about it” or they can open up and share.
Instead of asking your friend what you can do, you may want to instead say “Can I let you know some things I might be able to do”? When your friend agrees, you can offer some of the things listed that you feel comfortable doing – and don’t let her down. Make sure you can do it:
· Research doctors, hospitals and treatments.
· Help with organizing medications
· Go to the clinician’s office and take notes, prepare questions and bring information.
· Organize or help with cooking, child care and family matters
· Organize bills and insurance information.
· If she is hospitalized, someone should be with her at all times to make sure she is getting appropriate care, proper medications……………
Delegate, delegate, delegate! You don’t have to be the person doing all of this but bringing others to support your friend is helpful too.
Find out from your friend who they want as part of their “care team” and start calling. The people on the list may say no to you but you won’t be offended.